DJR Team Penske managing director Ryan Story says the team is focused on tidying up some rough procedural edges as it publicly deals with the ‘teething problems’ that have come from running at the front of the Supercars field.
The US-owned team has emerged as a true Supercars force this season, Fabian Coulthard sitting on top of the points after three championship rounds thanks to a pair of wins, while new-signing Scott McLaughlin has been consistently at the front as well.
But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for DJRTP, with a number of errors costing the team points. Examples include McLaughlin being penalised for weaving behind the Safety Car in Adelaide after not being warned against doing so on the radio, McLaughlin stopping in pitlane, not on the grid, when Saturday’s race in Tasmania was red flagged, and Coulthard passing a red light at the end of pitlane at Phillip Island while leading Sunday’s race.
According to Story the mishaps are a combination of there being a lot of new faces in the team, and the fact that the success has come a little earlier than expected.
“That’s a big focus of what we’re working on,” Story told Motorsport.com.
“To the credit of the guys, while we we’ve made some missteps, made mistakes, we haven’t made them a second time.
“When you look at the guys we’re competing against, running at the front and winning are muscle memory. We still have a relatively fresh group of people, and to be fair, as an organisation, you have to be ready to run at the front.
“We’re probably a few steps ahead of where we anticipated to be at this point.
“As a consequence of that, you’re seeing quite publicly and openly the teething problems that come with, I suppose, achieving some short-end goals earlier than expected.
“But we’ll continue to grind it out, what’s what we’ve got to do. The procedures and processes we have are put in place so, basically, we can capitalise on car speed when it’s there.”
Roger Penske headed to Perth
Having beaten one bogey track with a race-winning performance in Tasmania, DJRTP has its eyes set firmly on a similar turnaround in form at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth next weekend.
Story says tyre life will be key, an area that’s been problematic for the team in the past, while a good result will have added importance with Roger Penske set to make what’s becoming an annual visit to Western Australia thanks to the state’s strong mining industry.
“Perth is the next big challenge for us, because we haven’t been particularly strong there in the last couple of years,’ Story added.
“That’s the next box that we’d like to see ticked. In Perth it is the abrasive surface, and hanging on to the tyre. Fabian qualified well there last year, but in race trim it went off half way into the stint. That’s the next box to tick.
“The Captain’s going to join us in Perth, and we want to make sure we capitalise on what has been solid form to date when he’s there.
“We’re achieving what we’re achieving as a direct consequence of his belief and faith and confidence in us – and not to mention patience. It’s due reward when we can execute and convert that strong pace to race wins.”